Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 21-27 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

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59 comments:

  1. For Part 3 of this comment thread, please go here.

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  2. So what's new on the layoff front? How fast is corporate winding down the newspaper division?

    Any word on when the New Jersey consolidation model will be applied elsewhere?

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  3. 10:11 is correct. Just go to LinkedIn.com and search Google under "companies" and you'll find staff like April Anderson who is Head of Retail and Tech Sales for Google. Her summary: April joined Google in 2002 and leads the Retail and Technology sectors of Google's Online Sales channel. She oversees all advertiser relationships across those markets and has met with hundreds of clients to understand their marketing goals and share ideas on how to be successful in today's online marketplace. April also works directly with Google's broader organization to align product offerings in accordance with marketers' continually evolving needs. April has a B.A. in International Relations and a M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University.
    3/23/2011 11:50 PM

    WOW - and OMG Google does not have sales reps, just sales departments. No one working there is a sales rep.

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  4. Wasn't the case in New Jersey that the mothership was eating so many costs, the smaller sites didn't really have an accurate picture of revenue vs. profit? Did that drive the speed of the consolidations there, more than they would someplace else?

    Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Michigan (except Detroit) all seem to be fairly consolidated already - pre-design centers roll out. Indiana, Iowa and Florida seem to be in the same position as well.

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  5. The NJ consolidation is not designed as a model for the rest of USCP. It was put into place as a last-ditch effort to save the 3 failing NJ papers in northern New Jersey.

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  6. Jim said...
    My apologies if Gannett Blog has been a tad boring the last couple days; this has been a S-L-O-W news cycle that I hope will end soon.

    Does anyone find it revealing that Jim posted the above comment yesterday in the middle of an intelligent conversation that was going on? Seems like he just can't wait for some more furloughs, layoffs or employee v. management bickering to drive his traffic.

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  7. Troll Patrol3/24/2011 9:27 AM

    Hey 8:31, don't kill the messenger! Jim didn't lay-off, furlough, down size, right size or pink slip anyone. Can your corporate Masters say the same? But you got your $20 troll fee for that post so go back to your troll hole and try to think of another zinger. Don't get a headache!

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  8. Why do so many people think that Gannett, has people (or otherwise known as trolls) intentionally go on this sight to either pump up Gannett or discredit others or spread false rumors. Gannett is a crappy company but that would be just stupid and a waste of time. Think about it, if my boss said to me, "Can you go on that Gannett Blog and post a bunch of crazy stuff". I would say, "Sure". and then go surfing the net for things of my interest (amazon, ebay, espn.com, etc.) There just seems like a lot of paranoia on this sight that has no fact behind it at all. And if you think I am one of those $20 Trolls, think again, I got laid off July 2009.

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  9. It seems to be following a familiar pattern that when the nit-pickers/naysayers make an onslaught on this site, something big is going to be announced by Gannett. And it's rarely good news.

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  10. Let's not call 8:31 a troll. There are a lot of folks who post ridiculous things on this blog simply to discredit Jim, but his response is completely reasonable. I think Jim does a great job, but 8:31 is correct that he wrote what he wrote during a stimulating and interesting conversation.

    I suspect Jim was simply lamenting the fact that there has been no real GANNETT news for a few days, leaving readers to debate more philosophical points, like the system a company uses to reduce staffing. But I see how 8:31 could interpret that as his longing for something sensational.

    Let's all just get along, share information and bat ideas around. The blog is better when we do.

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  11. Regarding the Newseum. A 2009 federal tax form lists the total compensation for 15 employees who make at least $150,000. Including Joseph Urschel at $275,000, Peter Prichard at $265,000, Kenneth Paulson at 440,000, Charles Overby at $445,000, Nicole Mandeville at $315,000.
    A form for the Freedom Forum lists Al Neuharth at $216,000 for working 40 hours a week, plus $266,000, John Seigenthaler at $192,000 for his 40-hour week, plus $80,000, and John Quinn at $144,000 for his 40-hour week, plus $124,000.

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  12. It seems to be following a familiar pattern that when the nit-pickers/naysayers make an onslaught on this site, something big is going to be announced by Gannett. And it's rarely good news.
    3/24/2011 9:56 AM

    Your comment makes no sense and you seem like an idiot... nuf said

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  13. Yeah, that Newseum sure sounds like a charity to me - a handout for overfed executives who just can't get enough to stuff down their gullets.

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  14. Now here's a want ad!

    http://motherjones.tumblr.com/post/4046557808/the-best-journalism-job-want-ad-ever-ever

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  15. I wish they would stop dragging this out. Just tell us what is in store for the second quarter. Morale at my site is very low. You never see anyone smiling and the higher ups are always in closed door meetings. There are some employees who are more than happy to bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is great. Is ignorance truly bliss? I think it's time to freshen up the resume.

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  16. Why are so many people worried about furloughs. Just expect them every quarter, and hopefully you get them. After all you can't beat 4 weeks of vacations a year plus the regular vacation, plus the personal time, plus the sick time. Heck that is 4 wks furlough, 4 weeks vac, 1 week personal, 2 weeks sick time.. SWEET!!! 11 weeks off per year. That is the best deal ever. And if for some reason the furloughs don't happen, you can just hope they do for the next quarter. When I used to work for GCI, I loved getting furloughed I even planned vacations during that time.

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  17. 12:42 -- You make a good point. I do look forward to the furloughs. And the fact that you keep your benefits and (in some states) can collect unemployment can actually makes them a financially sweet deal for the employee. In states where you collect unemployment, you make slightly less money but maintain your benefits and get the time off. Unfortunately, some people make so little that a week without pay makes it difficult for them to pay their bills ... so I really feel their pain.

    You are dead right, however, that people should expect and budget for furloughs every quarter. If they don't happen, you can leave whatever money you set aside in your savings. If they do, you can at least weather the storm a little easier.

    In the meantime, keep looking for other jobs. If you're just now polishing up your resume, you are really late to the party.

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  18. Hey 1:03 PM - Finally someone that I can agree with, we both make sense. And as far as polishing up my resume... LOL - I plan to never work again. I'm over 40 years old and have been working my entire life, I think enough is enough. I have saved money my whole life and now I just do volunteer work and go on vacations with the family.

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  19. The stock swooned during the two hours of that presentation to stock analysts today. Anyone know what they said that prompted this?

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  20. Thanks for the breakdown. 11 weeks out of the office in a 52 week period. I'm thinking it is time to implement some part-time positions. Now that everyone is used to being screwed. 32 hours a week with some benefits, no furloughs. The only caveat is you still never know if today is your layoff day.

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  21. Sure, the time off during a furlough is great. And budgeting for it is a personal matter. But the significantly increased workload to make up for everyone who's furloughed, no thanks.

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  22. Jim, how about some analysis of the presentation to stock analysts? What was said and what can you glean from it?

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  23. Sure, the time off during a furlough is great. And budgeting for it is a personal matter. But the significantly increased workload to make up for everyone who's furloughed, no thanks.
    3/24/2011 2:36 PM

    Increased work load doesn't make sense. When I was at the Arizona Republic and furloughs were going on, there was absolutely no overtime allowed what so ever (because it would circumvent the reason for the furlough in the first place, why would you furlough someone to then pay their replace 1 1/2 times a much). So you would still work your 40 hours and go home. So extra work load doesn't make sense. Might you be a little busier during those 40 hours sure, but you would still only be there 40 hours so it didn't make any difference.

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  24. I don't think 2:36 is talking about more hours (except for exempt workers), but a lot more work to do during those 40 hours. Where I work, we've had massive layoffs in between furloughs, so each furlough makes work even more stressful because we have fewer people to do the job. And with people leaving their jobs, they're not filling those positions, making it even harder.

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  25. There was almost a 5 percent drop in GCI during that stock analysts conference, while the general market is up. Anyone listen to it?

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  26. I don't think 2:36 is talking about more hours (except for exempt workers), but a lot more work to do during those 40 hours. Where I work, we've had massive layoffs in between furloughs, so each furlough makes work even more stressful because we have fewer people to do the job. And with people leaving their jobs, they're not filling those positions, making it even harder.
    3/24/2011 3:04 PM


    40 hours is 40 hours what difference does it make what you are doing. If somebody had to work more hours because someone is furloughed that would make sense, but you still go home after and 8hr day and 40hr week.

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  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. The pattern seems to be furloughs, smallish layoffs, furloughs. Rinse, repeat.

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  29. What difference does it make? Stress. The difference between going home happy after 8 hours and going home to drink.
    3/24/2011 3:51 PM

    How can there be any stress when all you do is put in your 8hr day and go home. It's not like you are launching the space shuttle or something. Get some freakin perspective dude!!

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  30. Ah, the 8-hour day. Nice unless you carry the G A N N E T T "salaried" brand. And we're not saying a high-flying executive. Just a front-line editor or reporter who has "aged" sufficiently to be deemed a "special writer" with no raise, no change in duties, but now in the rarified no-overtime zone.

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  31. Not one hospital in the VA-MD-DC area lists GCI on its lobby walls/plaques as a donator/contributor, yet if you were to look what other major corporations/headquarters for the area are listed, they are there. Since GCI claims it's always had a major presence in the area, check that out, 7:05pm, and educate yourself.

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  32. Ah, the 8-hour day. Nice unless you carry the G A N N E T T "salaried" brand. And we're not saying a high-flying executive. Just a front-line editor or reporter who has "aged" sufficiently to be deemed a "special writer" with no raise, no change in duties, but now in the rarified no-overtime zone.

    I was a salaried advertising manager and I kept track of the hours I worked more than 8 in any given day, and if I did work more then I would go home early one or more of the other days. You have to stand up for yourself and work regular hours most of the time and never more than 40hrs a week. If you are being pushed around then you deserve what you get. When I worked at the Arizona Republic they would try to make you feel bad if you didn't work more, but in the end everyone worked only 40hrs per week except for a few suck ups that thought they were making a difference.

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  33. we are ALL so spoiled- look at what is happening in Japan-GET REAL

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  34. In Japan, executive compensation is nothing like it is here. CEOs at Japan's top 100 companies by market capitalization earned an average of around $1.5 million, compared with $13.3 million for American CEOs and $6.6 million for European chief execs at companies with revenues of higher than $10 billion, according to an analysis of 2004-06 data by Towers Perrin, a Stamford (Conn.) human resources firm.

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  35. Heh 5:30 there is a reason you will NEVER be successful at Gannett or any other company. A salaried professional keeping track of their hours??? You will go far. Great work ethic!

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  36. Heh 5:30 there is a reason you will NEVER be successful at Gannett or any other company. A salaried professional keeping track of their hours??? You will go far. Great work ethic!
    3/24/2011 7:15 PM

    Well if you didn't keep track of your hours at Gannett you were and idiot. The company would always screw you, so you should never give back anymore than exactly what you were paid for. And I don't have to go far, I'm in my 40s and have saved way more than enough money to last the rest of my life so going back to work is not even a thought in my head.

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  37. 7:45 I am all fir an hourly worker keeping track of their hours but a salaried ad manager? Sorry that's a career going no where here or at any other company attitude. Hate Gannett all you want but an ad manager writing down their hours us about as unProfessional and sad as it gets!

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  38. If you feel you're being taken advantage of (and when you're consistently the last person out of the building night after night, without the benefit of overtime pay), yes, OF COURSE you keep track of the time you're working.

    I kept track of my time, but just in my head. No spreadsheets. But I had no guilt about occasional long lunches or occasionally arriving late in the morning. I'd already had plenty of skipped lunches or late nights.

    You do what you have to do to get the job done. But what's wrong with keeping track of how much time that takes?

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  39. Another job cut by attrition in Shreveport, La.: Production director Doug Nobles retired at the beginning of March. Circulation director Kevin Welsh will take on that job in addition to circulation. Welsh also oversees circulation at the Gannett paper in Monroe. Shreveport publisher Pete Zanmiller touted it as a "promotion." Just sounds like a buttload more work without more pay to me.

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  40. Someone keeping tabs on their hours to ensure they aren't taken advantage of is not unprofessional. I left 2 hours early today and didn't feel a bit guilty - I work through many lunches and work late pretty regularly. If I don't take care of me then no one else will.

    GANNETT lacks respect and consideration for long time employees so why bother giving more than 100%?

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  41. ADDING TO 5:30-anonymous is telling you ALL that you are a bunch of whiners,look at what ALL the people in Japan are going thru & you want to whine about furloughs & layoffs,those don't matter when you have a horrific experience happen to you- devistation & hopelessness
    GET REAL.
    your all spoiled, & selfish GROW UP

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  42. I love furloughs (furcations), because I am in a position where I can afford an extra 4 unpaid weeks of vacation, but most of the people I work with can ill afford a cut in their bi-weekly salary.
    What I do not like is when one of us is on furlough, and yes I do see the irony in this. I work in a small department with two shifts and weekends, and the rest of us (read the other person, as in one) has to cover for the one who is out. We have been cut to the bone, beyond the bone, and there is nothing left. No time, no funds, and still we struggle through it. Not one of the execs have any clue what they have done to us, nor do they have an understanding of what we do. None of them could fill our shoes or live on the salary we are offered. Change job you say, but to where? We are in a seriously depressed area, but as a newspaper still manage to make a profit, and there are no other jobs to be had around here.
    I am stuck till I can retire or I get laid off, whichever comes first...

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  43. I saw a job notice for the Hattiesburg, MS, managing editor. Anyone know anything about this job or what happened to the previous editor? Was he/she laid off?

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  44. @10:31 p.m.: no, the managing editor in Hattiesburg left for another job. Surprised, though, that they're hiring. We figured the job would stay vacant and someone from the jackson, miss. paper would take over both sites.

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  45. Increased work load doesn't make sense. When I was at the Arizona Republic and furloughs were going on, there was absolutely no overtime allowed what so ever (because it would circumvent the reason for the furlough in the first place, why would you furlough someone to then pay their replace 1 1/2 times a much). So you would still work your 40 hours and go home. So extra work load doesn't make sense. Might you be a little busier during those 40 hours sure, but you would still only be there 40 hours so it didn't make any difference.
    3/24/2011 2:55 PM

    If you work anywhere near production, you more than likely will have an increased workload that will see you working over 40 hours. Yes it defeats the purpose of furloughs, but what are you supposed to do? Advertisers don't care about furloughs.

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  46. You're right, 4:05. Suggesting that working two people's job up against the same daily deadlines is stressful is crazy talk. I stand corrected. Now that you put me in my place, I guess I'll just stop being stressed out at work. Presto!

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  47. The comment below has nothing to do with what this discussion is about. We live in the United States and by doing so we have freedom of speech and expression. If we continue to let workers be taken advantage of we will go back to the days when our grandparents worked in sweat shops and factories. If we take a attitude such as “Thank you, master” we will be treated as such. Gannett does not care about their employees. If they did you would not see such greed. They would not make workers work for free and make them take comp time so they could improve their bottom line. We should complain because they are making a profit and paying out insane bonuses to their CEOS and making their workers take furloughs, pay cuts and raising their health insurance premiums. I know it isn't just Gannett but it still doesn't make it the right thing to do.

    And by the way, why don't you donate money to Japan and have Gannett match it or better yet why doesn't Craig and Gracia donate their bonuses to help the Japanese people — I'm sure that will happen.

    we are ALL so spoiled- look at what is happening in Japan-GET REAL

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  48. If you work anywhere near production, you more than likely will have an increased workload that will see you working over 40 hours. Yes it defeats the purpose of furloughs, but what are you supposed to do? Advertisers don't care about furloughs.
    3/24/2011 11:10 PM

    What newspaper do you work at? At the Arizona Republic over time is strictly forbidden and it does not happen in any department because of a furlough. I work in payroll and trust me, I know.

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  49. You're right, 4:05. Suggesting that working two people's job up against the same daily deadlines is stressful is crazy talk. I stand corrected. Now that you put me in my place, I guess I'll just stop being stressed out at work. Presto!
    3/25/2011 12:46 AM

    Why would you do that??? Just work your job and be done with it. You can't be forced to do someone else's job if you are working on yours. Now if you have free time or finish yours then that is one thing. But the stressed out thing is just weird. If you have to go home after your 8hr shift no matter what, it doesn't matter how much or what you were doing during those hours. Because if you don't finish you just go home anyway. This is not rocket science.

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  50. If you don't finish, you just go home? I sincerely hope that you and others with that attitude are not engaged in anything more than shuffling papers.

    I can only speak for editorial, but you don't leave until you've finished the story(ies) skeded for the next day's paper.

    Just leave it for another day? Bullshit!

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  51. If you don't finish, you just go home? I sincerely hope that you and others with that attitude are not engaged in anything more than shuffling papers.

    I can only speak for editorial, but you don't leave until you've finished the story(ies) skeded for the next day's paper.

    Just leave it for another day? Bullshit!
    3/25/2011 10:06 AM


    You miss the point entirely.... you do your OWN work first and only work on the other if there is time and if it doesn't get done that is the only way that they can see that furlough's or staff reductions don't work in certain areas. If management still sees everything being done even with furloughs going on there is no need to change. Heck who would!!! At the Arizona Republic we all did our own work and if the other didn't get done but really needed to that is how it was figured out that those department(s) were understaffed. You are so doing yourself a disfavor by picking up others work and sealing your own fate when layoffs come again, because all upper management will see is that the work is still getting done even with furloughs which means over staffed in their mind. WAKE UP DUDE!!!

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  52. 10:22, you have a lot to learn about the newspaper biz. You really just let work sit around until you eventually get to it, or don't get to it? Those of us who work in newsrooms - excuse me, Information Centers - don't have that luxury. If somebody is on furlough, do we just leave a hole on the front page because we didn't have time to finish the story? Do we just put out half the paper because we didn't have enough people to produce all the pages? It's unbelievable that you think it works that way. The fact is, we have news to cover and news hole to fill, regardless of who's on furlough. It sounds lovely to prove to upper management what work cannot get done without enough people. But we don't have a choice. It must get done, and we must meet our deadlines. With fewer people, quality suffers. But if we just left our work for tomorrow, there wouldn't be a tomorrow. We'd be fired.

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  53. 10:22, you have a lot to learn about the newspaper biz. You really just let work sit around until you eventually get to it, or don't get to it? Those of us who work in newsrooms - excuse me, Information Centers - don't have that luxury. If somebody is on furlough, do we just leave a hole on the front page because we didn't have time to finish the story? Do we just put out half the paper because we didn't have enough people to produce all the pages? It's unbelievable that you think it works that way. The fact is, we have news to cover and news hole to fill, regardless of who's on furlough. It sounds lovely to prove to upper management what work cannot get done without enough people. But we don't have a choice. It must get done, and we must meet our deadlines. With fewer people, quality suffers. But if we just left our work for tomorrow, there wouldn't be a tomorrow. We'd be fired.
    3/25/2011 11:56 AM

    You are not so bright...there wouldn't be a news hole at the Arizona Republic we just ran filler ads, no biggie. You have only yourself to blame for your work load. I didn't say don't do your work, but only do or help others once yours is done and if others don't get done.... Well like I said that is what filler ads are for, it was part of our regular daily routine.

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  55. It's not about helping others with their work. It's a matter of being ASSIGNED twice as much work because of furloughs. So it IS my work. And, um, no, that's not what "filler ads" are for. If we simply filled the paper with house ads, there would be no paper. And none of us would have jobs. You are unbelievably ignorant. I work on a copy desk. You wouldn't survive one hour in my job with that attitude.

    You are funny and one that likes to take it...anyway, I used to tell my boss, hey that's too much and if you expect me to finish that by the time my shift ends, that isn't going to happen. And if you checked the Arizona Republic is is FILLED with tons of standby, filler and in house advertising. We did it all the time, maybe your paper is different.

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  56. Well, you are right about papers being different. Our paper has a strict policy against house ads because it cuts into news hole. I worked briefly on the desk at the Republic, and the paper was not heavy on filler ads then. But that was pre-Gannett, so I'm sure a million things have changed since then. And you're also right that everyone's entitled to tell the boss that the work load is too heavy. But this is the point you're not grasping: If I complain about my work load, then my colleagues have to assume the rest of my work. SOMEBODY must do it. If I don't have time to write a headline or a cutline or to trim a story or to finish laying out the front page, a filler ad won't solve the problem. Somebody must do the job. By deadline. Whether it gets done well, though, is something Gannett doesn't care about anymore.

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  57. Well, you are right about papers being different. Our paper has a strict policy against house ads because it cuts into news hole. I worked briefly on the desk at the Republic, and the paper was not heavy on filler ads then. But that was pre-Gannett, so I'm sure a million things have changed since then. And you're also right that everyone's entitled to tell the boss that the work load is too heavy. But this is the point you're not grasping: If I complain about my work load, then my colleagues have to assume the rest of my work. SOMEBODY must do it. If I don't have time to write a headline or a cutline or to trim a story or to finish laying out the front page, a filler ad won't solve the problem. Somebody must do the job. By deadline. Whether it gets done well, though, is something Gannett doesn't care about anymore.

    LOL you were there a long time ago.... We use our interns and admin staff to write alot of the headlines and cutlines. It's such a basic task, that they have fun with it.

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  58. 10:22 it's you who miss the point. There is no their work vs your work. You get paid to work 8 hours. During that time you do work period. So enough with you have to do someone elses work. Your attitude is sooooo union. Heaven forbid a union guy would do "someone elses" work.

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  59. 10:22 it's you who miss the point. There is no their work vs your work. You get paid to work 8 hours. During that time you do work period. So enough with you have to do someone elses work. Your attitude is sooooo union. Heaven forbid a union guy would do "someone elses" work.
    3/25/2011 8:21 PM

    Um.... not union, the only workers at the Arizona Republic are the press people that work at the plant. NOBODY ELSE. And my point was that is your work load increased because someone was on furlough, you just do what you can and don't worry about it if you don't finish it. That is basically what everyone does at the Republic and there are no repercussions, threats and posturing maybe... but with just ignore that crap.

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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